ART GOLD 2 Albania Programme
What is the programme about?
Since Albania embarked in a process of real decentralisation of power and local governance, more than two decades ago, progress has been made in several aspects regarding the transfer of various competencies and assets to decentralised government bodies and building their governance capacities for managing their tasks, shared functions as well as promoting increased participation in decision-making.
Despite such achievements, the reforms require further fine-tuning to improve the efficiency and quality of delivered services, consolidate the local revenue system, engage communities in the development debate and strengthen the accountability on local decisions.Regional and local authorities still face challenges to cope with delegated competencies and decision making, coordinate local, national and international development actors, prepare and implement development projects and harmonize different central and local priorities.
UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania responds to this development challenge, in the framework of UNDP ART Initiative (Articulation of Territorial and Thematic Networks of Human Development Cooperation). This Initiative aims to promote cooperation programs for governance and local development through knowledge transfer and partnerships with local governments from developed countries, that is decentralized cooperation actors.
UNDP ART GOLD 2 Albania employs a territorial approach to address the needs of the decentralised bodies, with particular focus on regional administrations (qarks) of Albanian regions of Vlora and Shkodra. This is done in compliance with national development strategies and plans.
Since 2009, ART GOLD 2 Albania is being implemented by UNDP Albania in partnership with UNDP Brussels Office, UNDP Geneva Office (until end 2013), and UNOPS (until end 2012) and is supported financially by a large array of partners including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy .The programme is currently implemented in cooperation with the Albanian Minister of Local Issues, the Ministry of Urban Development and the Ministry of Culture. The programme has received support through the One UN Coherence Fund in Albania, the International ART Trust Fund and Decentralised Cooperation Partners.
UNDP ART GOLD 2 works to:
• Promote cooperation of local government institutions with local communities, through participatory strategic planning processes, to create their own vision for the future and discover the best ways to implement it by connecting the cultural, environmental, social and economic aspects of the territories.
• Support the Local Economic Development Agencies in Vlora (AULEDA) and Shkodra (TEULEDA) through tailored technical assistance on development of business plans and project management, focusing on economic activities that benefit the vulnerable. This support aims at accelerating the process of transformation of the agencies into Regional Integrated Development Agencies (RDA).
• Provide guidelines for regional administrations, LEDAs and local producers on how to increase the economic value of typical (such as milk and its by-products, honey, olive oil, etc.) agricultural products.
• Promote local innovations in sectors such as agriculture, eco-friendly technologies, local planning, health care, etc.
• Build regional and local stakeholders’ capacities in project design to facilitate quality project applications to various funding schemes.
• Facilitate partnerships with decentralized cooperation development actors and networks to the benefit of regional priorities.
• Support technically and financially the implementation of key regional priorities for small infrastructure and non-infrastructure interventions.
• Improve the allocation of financial credit - through a security mechanism (Guarantee Fund) - to SMEs operating in agro-industry, handicrafts, tourism, fisheries, etc., usually facing difficulties to access bank loans due to lack of assets and guarantees. (through UNOPS and LEDAs)
What have we accomplished so far?
• Creation of Vlora and Shkodra County Partnership Councils (CPCs) which bring together a balanced representation of government, business and civil society. The CPCs serve as advisory and consultative committees at regional level and help identify and decide on development priorities.
• Two Strategic Plans: the Strategic Plan of Vlora region: “The Zero Emission Territory” and Strategic Plan for Shkodra region: “Towards the Sustainability of Tourism” which were designed and approved by regional councils.
• Tailored technical assistance is provided to AULEDA and TEULEDA for their conversion into RDA. The assistance provided focused on the following five main areas: a) agencies’ statute, b) enlargement of stakeholders’ base (board composition), c) prioritization of activities, d) agencies’ management and organization, and e) enlargement of the range of activities from economic to socio-economic issues, including health, education, and general “integrated” services.
• Establishment of decentralized cooperation partnerships with the Italian regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Marche, Apulia, Umbria, etc.
• Establishment of 18 new enterprises (operating in the field of agro-industry, handicrafts, tourism, fisheries, etc.) consolidation of 14 existing ones and generation of more than 350 new jobs through the disbursement of 40 loans based on the Guarantee Fund mechanism (through UNOPS and LEDAs)
• Completion of six regional priory interventions and two ongoing:
- Restoration of the Ethnographic Museum.
- Restoration of the Façade of the Former Prefecture.
- Restoration of antique Aulona’s surrounding wall.
Rehabilitation of a community playground in Himara
- Illumination of the Shkodra City Hall.
- Rehabilitation of a Dwelling Block in Puka town.
- Creation of Marubi Virtual Museum (ongoing)
- Establishment of Hotel Villages in mountainous areas of Shkodra (ongoing)
Who finances it?
|$ 2,458,153||$ 602,032|
International Art Trust Fund
|$ 375,000||$ 278,938||$ 150,000|
|One UN Coherence Fund||$ 150,000|
|Decentralised Cooperation||On project basis|